Browsing articles in "Editorial"

Cars & Coffee

Irvine, CA. 7am, millions dollar rides…and donuts. The gallery speaks for itself.

Oct 21, 2010

Whats the story here?

This is all the photography I could get as I enter the taping for TopGear America.

Oct 30, 2009

Video Gamers Race for REAL

Gamers could be joining in a real televised sporting event from their homes early in 2010. Real Time Race has been developing a system that places players side-by-side with the drivers in real races.

More here

Oct 19, 2009

Affordable Racing

Written by Benjamin Hunting

Not everyone is happy to just use their automobiles to go from point A to point B and then back again. An entire industry has sprung up around servicing those who ask their vehicles to serve as chariots of fun as well as workhorses and daily commuters. Motorsports in general have developed a reputation as being the type of activity that requires a fat wallet in order to participate, and for some forms of racing this is certainly true. However, there are a number of grassroots ways to get involved in competitive and just plain fun automotive activities that won’t drain your savings account or risk putting undue strain on your car.

One of the easiest and inexpensive motorsports to get involved with is autocross. Autocross takes place in large parking lots, local airport runways or old industrial yards across the country – essentially anywhere that offers a large and clear paved space. A track is laid out with pylons, creating a very technical drive that involves slaloms, gates, and other specific types of obstacles and maneuvers. The courses are generally low speed, with most vehicles rarely shifting out of second gear, but they are very challenging to navigate in a clean and quick fashion. In combination with a well-balanced system of vehicle classes, this enables people with completely stock automobiles to compete against those driving other stock cars of similar power and handling characteristics. In addition to having a good time out amongst the pylons, autocross events usually provide all participants with access to instructors who can help them not only improve their driving times but also teach them to be safer and more skilled drivers – skills that transfer out into the real world at the end of the day.

While any car can be fun in autocross, the tight corners and low course speeds tend to favor smaller and lighter cars. Compact cars and roadsters are especially well suited to competing in autocross. One of the most popular autocross vehicles is the Mazda Miata, thanks to its combination of a low curb weight and excellent handling characteristics. Following close behind the Miata are the BMW 3 Series, the Honda Civic, Acura RSX, and the MINI Cooper. Each of these automobiles combines a mixture of sporty driving with excellent road holding and a generally small form factor, making them very tossable out amongst the cones.

For those worried about possibly damaging their car during an autocross event, there isn’t much cause for alarm. All autocross courses are laid out in very open areas so as to minimize or completely eliminate the chances of hitting something accidentally – even in the event of a spin. The low speeds involved in autocross also make it very difficult to tip a vehicle over, no matter whether control is lost when rounding a corner. The only real items on a car that could wear out as a result of constant autocross participation are tires and brake pads, but this is largely a factor of how heavy your car might be.

Autocross remains the least expensive and arguably the most fun way of learning more about your car and your own driving skills in a controlled setting that encourages interaction with both instructors and other like minded drivers.

Sep 22, 2009

08 BRABUS Bullit Black



(from Brabus Press Release) BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW

The Four-Door V12 Biturbo Stealth Super Sports Car
With 730 hp (720 hp SAE net), 1,320 Nm (974 lb-ft), 0 ñ 300 km/h (186 mph) in 24.5 seconds and a Top Speed of More than 360 km/h (225 mph)

Ultra powerful, ultra fast and conspicuously inconspicuous: The four-door stealth super sports car BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW offers performance superlatives like no other car on the market: The basis for the car is the body of the new C-Class sedan, covered with a special matte-black coating. The BRABUS SV12 S Biturbo twelve-cylinder engine was dropped into the engine bay with almost surgical precision. Performance is staggering: 3.9 seconds from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph), 24.5 seconds for 0 ñ 300 km/h (186 mph) and a top speed of more than 360 km/h (225 mph). BRABUS ( produces the BULLIT BLACK ARROW in small-series production starting at 348,000 Euros MSRP.

The BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW ensures that the worldís fastest sedans continue to come from Bottrop. The BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW follows in the footsteps of the 330-km/h (206 mph) BRABUS E V12 based on the W 210-series Mercedes E-Class, the 350.2-km/h (219 mph) E V12 Biturbo of the new W 211 generation and the worldís current fastest sedan, the 365.7- km/h (227.2 mph) BRABUS ROCKET based on the Mercedes CLS.

Numerous modifications to the reinforced body were necessary to install the turbocharged V12 engine in the C-Class engine bay. The BRABUS SV12 S Biturbo engine is derived directly from the BRABUS ROCKET and uses the latest Mercedes S 600 engine that has been completely reworked in the company-own engine building shop.

Nothing beats displacement except even more displacement: A crankshaft with longer stroke, larger cylinder bore, and special pistons and piston rods increase displacement of the twelve-cylinder three-valve engine from 5.5 to 6.3 liters (336 to 385 cu. in.).

Cylinder heads optimized for faster gas exchange and high-performance camshafts also contribute to the increase in power output. They are assisted by a more efficient dual turbocharging system, special manifolds, larger turbochargers and larger intercoolers. Because of space constraints in the C-Class body an entirely new stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system with low back-pressure metal catalysts had to be developed.

The BRABUS motor engineers used state-of-the-art engine test benches to program new mapping for engine electronics and on-board diagnostics. The new mapping ensures optimal power yield while meeting strict EURO IV emission limits.

The BRABUS SV12 S Biturbo displacement engine, lubricated like all BRABUS high-performance engines with ARAL Synthetic motor oil, produces 730 hp (720 hp SAE net) / 537 kW at just 5,100 rpm. The peak torque of 1,320 Nm (974 lb-ft) is limited in-car electronically to 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft).

Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a reinforced five-speed automatic transmission and a BRABUS limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent. Customers can choose from two final drive ratios. The BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW features all modern driving dynamics systems such as ABS, ASR and ESP.

The matte-black stealth street rocket delivers unique performance: Just 3.9 seconds pass for the sprint from 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph), 200 km/h (124 mph) is reached after just 10.49 seconds. And after just 24.5 seconds the car shatters the 300-km/h barrier (186 mph). Top speed is more than 360 km/h (225 mph).

At these speeds favorable aerodynamic properties are absolutely essential. The BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW was honed to perfection in the wind tunnel. The BULLIT front apron features large air ducts to supply cooling air for radiators and front brakes. Its sophisticated design further reduces lift on the front axle. Its aerodynamic counterparts in the rear are a three-piece rear spoiler and a rear apron with integrated diffuser. Both front and rear aprons are made from especially light yet highly robust autoclave-baked carbon fiber.

A wider track optimizes directional stability so elementary at speeds beyond 300 km/h. The BRABUS designers have styled aluminum wheel arch flares for front and rear axle. They are seamlessly melded to the production body and add six centimeters (2.4 inches) to the C-Class width. BRABUS rocker panels optimize the airstream along the sides. They also feature integrated entry lights that make entering and exiting the vehicle safer in the dark.

The visual appearance of the BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW is further characterized by the new aluminum hood. Its integrated ëgillsí are not just distinctive features, they also ensure the engineís thermal health.

The wheel arch flares provide space for especially wide matte-black BRABUS Monoblock S light-alloy wheels with high-performance tires from technology partners YOKOHAMA or Pirelli. The 9.5Jx19 wheels on the front axle are shod with size 265/30 ZR 19 tires. The rear axle is fitted with size 10Jx19 wheels and size 285/30 ZR 19 tires.

The height-adjustable coil-over suspension was developed specifically for the BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW. The gas-pressure shocks feature ten selectable settings each for bound and rebound. They provide a sporty yet comfortable ride and safe handling in any situation. Sport stabilizers reduces body roll to a minimum during fast cornering.

The BRABUS high-performance brake system can handle even the most extreme stress. It features 12-piston aluminum fixed calipers on the front axle that grip vented and grooved 380 x 37 millimeter (15 x 1.46 inches) brake discs. The rear axle stops with 360 x 28 millimeter (14.2 x 1.1 inches) discs and six-piston aluminum fixed calipers.

Exclusive individuality also abounds in the interior of the BRABUS automobile: The standard equipment package includes a fully leather interior hand-crafted in the company-own upholstery shop from the finest Mastik and Nubuk leathers.

The custom BULLIT seats offer a perfect combination of comfort and lateral support. Their carbon-fiber rear covers lend the interior an especially sporty feel. This look is complemented by carbon-fiber components on dashboard, center console and door panels as well as by the ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel and aluminum pedals and shifter.


4-door sedan based on Mercedes-Benz C-Class, W 204 series

Steel unibody widened with BRABUS fender flares by 60 mm (2.36 inches). BRABUS aluminum hood with integrated gills.
BRABUS BULLIT aerodynamic-enhancement kit with BULLIT front and rear bumper manufactured from carbon fiber baked in an autoclave. Rocker panels with integrated entrance lights, three-piece rear spoiler.

BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW with matte-black coating.

Length 4.590 mm 180.7 in.
Width 1.830 mm 72.0 in.
Height 1.402 mm 55.2 in.
Curb weight 1,850 kg 4,079 lbs.


BRABUS SV 12 S Biturbo displacement engine based on Mercedes 600

V12-cylinder 3-valve light-alloy engine with twin turbochargers
Displacement 6,233 cm? (380 cu. in.)
Compression ratio 9.0 : 1
Rated power 730 hp (720 hp SAE net) / 537 kW at 5,100 rpm
Peak torque 1,320 Nm (974 lb-ft) from 2,100 rpm (electronically limited to 1,100 Nm ñ 811 lb-ft)
Fuel: Super plus (98 octane)
Motor oil: ARAL

BRABUS SV 12 S Biturbo engine conversion consisting of:
Displacement increase to 6.3 liters with special crankshaft with longer stroke, enlarged cylinder bore with corresponding larger pistons. Both cylinder heads feature flow-optimized ports and special camshafts. Two high-performance turbochargers with special exhaust manifolds; more efficient intercooling system and BRABUS stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system with low-back-pressure metal catalysts. Newly programmed mapping for engine electronics and on-board diagnostics.


Rear-Wheel Drive

Reinforced five-speed automatic transmission
Gear ratios:
1st gear 3.59
2nd gear 2.19
3rd gear 1.41
4th gear 1.00
5th gear 0.83

BRABUS locking rear differential with 40 percent locking rate
Final drive either 2.65 : 1 (top speed 315 km/h ñ 196 mph) or 2.24 : 1 (top speed 350 km/h ñ 217 mph ñ electronically limited).


Independent suspension front and rear with height-adjustable BRABUS coil-over suspension.

Front axle:
Three-link, anti-dive geometry. Height-adjustable BRABUS struts with coil springs and gas-pressure shocks featuring ten settings each for bound and rebound; BRABUS sport sway bar.

Rear axle:
Five-link, anti-dive and anti-squat geometry. Height-adjustable BRABUS struts with coil springs and gas-pressure shocks featuring ten settings each for bound and rebound; BRABUS sport sway bar.

BRABUS Monoblock S light-alloy wheels with YOKOHAMA or Pirelli high-performance tires.
Front: 9.5Jx19 H2 with 265/30 ZR 19
Rear: 10.0Jx19 H2 with 285/30 ZR 19

Brake System

Dual-circuit brakes with Brake Assist and BRABUS high-performance brake system.

Front: BRABUS 12-piston fixed aluminum calipers with vented and grooved 380 x 37 mm
(15 x 1.46 in.) steel brake discs.
Rear: BRABUS six-piston fixed aluminum calipers with vented and grooved 360 x 28 mm (14.2 x 1.1 in.) steel brake discs.


0 – 100 km/h (62 mph): 3.9 sec
0 – 200 km/h (124 mph): 10.49 sec
0 – 300 km/h (186 mph): 24.5 sec
Top speed: more than 360 km/h (225 mph)

6 color styles available:

Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.

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